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Answers to your Covid-19 vaccination questions

Most whānau are getting vaccinated because it's the most powerful way to protect against COVID-19. If most of us are vaccinated it makes it harder for the virus to spread. Community outbreaks have led to lockdowns and put our health system under pressure.

High vaccination rates will give our whānau more freedom and enable the health system to focus on the other things we need it to do.

When we get vaccinated, we also better protect those in our community who can’t get immunised. 

The vaccine works like other vaccines. It teaches the immune system to recognise and fight the virus.

It can’t give you the disease because it does not contain the virus, or a dead or inactivated virus, or anything that can affect our DNA.

The vaccine is gone completely from your body within a few days, leaving your immune system ready for action if COVID-19 comes near you.

It took a global effort to create the COVID-19 vaccines. But we didn’t start from scratch. Similar research into another virus (known as SARS) was already underway.

Other things helped.

  • Large amounts of funding were invested in research and manufacturing.
  • New technology was available.
  • Researchers, scientists and manufacturers around the world worked together.

As a result, the vaccines could be made faster, while still making sure they went through all the safety checks.

  • You will be asked to provide your details and to give consent.
  • A fully trained vaccinator will give you the vaccine in your upper arm.
  • You will need to stay for 15 minutes after being vaccinated.
  • Some mild side effects are common and are a sign your body is learning to fight the virus. Visit
  • Your second vaccination should happen three weeks after your first dose or as soon as possible after that. You can book an appointment  or there are lots of places where you can get vaccinated without one.
  • Find a vaccination centre near you here.
  • Both does of the vaccine are FREE.
  • Being fully vaccinated (two doses) will help protect you and your whānau from COVID-19.

Anyone over 12 years-old can get a vaccination now. Tamariki aged 5-11 will be able to get vaccinated from the 17th January.